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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 08 Apr 2017 (Saturday) 10:34
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Washed out photos with EOS 50d

 
methylman
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Apr 08, 2017 10:34 |  #1

Hi. I'm very new to digital SLR's. I just purchased a used Canon EOS 50D and have a 18/55 f3.5-5.6 [II] EF-S lens attached. I used the green box preset position on the dial for my photos and they all have the same washed-out look. I was expecting much better quality using this preset. See attached photo. Here is the info displayed on my computer for the photo:
ISO 100
18mm
0 ev
f/8
1/160
Please help with any obvious issues that could cause this. Thank you.


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drmaxx
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Apr 08, 2017 12:43 |  #2

I am wondering what the real experts have to say - but my guess is that with all the very strong contrasts in your picture (background dark and foreground in the sun) the camera tries to reduce the contrast in the automatic mode. This produces a 'washed out' look. The colors are typically for a full sun situation.


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Frodge
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Apr 08, 2017 14:45 |  #3

Contrast and overexposure.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt.
     
Apr 08, 2017 14:54 |  #4

I am assuming that you are shooting and storing JPEGs on the memory card. Since the camera is used, there is a possibility that the previous owner deliberately set the camera so that color saturation was reduced, compared to factory settings. So check the picture Style settings on the camera, and try selecting a different Style from its current settings. Because it is possible to set individual controls in a Style, perhaps ultimately you might find the need to Reset all camera settings to be Factory Default values for a clean start.


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Apr 08, 2017 15:04 |  #5

In reviewing the OP included photos, I would agree that another possibilty is indeed a bit of overexposure...
the 'Sunny 16' rule of thumb for photos shot in open Sunlight is ISO, shutter 1/ISO, f/16

The example shot 1 is ISO 100, 1/160 f/8, so while the shutter speed is -0.66EV compared to Sunny 16, the f/8 is +2EV from Sunny 16, so the combination is +1.33EV more exposure than the rule of thumb for bright sun.


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gjl711
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Post edited over 2 years ago by gjl711. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 08, 2017 15:20 |  #6

The image is a tad over-exposed. I'm guessing that this most likely occurred because you were metering in evaluative mode and a good portion of the background is in shadow thus the camera adjusted a bit by increasing the exposure. This is easily fixed in post processing by reducing the exposure a bit and bump up the saturation. To avoid this going forward, use center weighted or spot metering and expose for the subject and let the background be a bit darker. Take a look at this page (external link) for a more detailed explanation.


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OhLook
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Apr 08, 2017 15:37 |  #7

gjl711 wrote in post #18322851 (external link)
The image is a tad over-exposed. I'm guessing that this most likely occurred because you were metering in evaluative mode and a good portion of the background is in shadow thus the camera adjusted a bit by increasing the exposure. . . . To avoid this going forward, use center weighted or spot metering and expose for the subject and let the background be a bit darker.

I have the same guess. Another way to avoid the effect is to choose scenes with less contrast. Shoot early or late in the day, when sunlight comes from a lower angle and is less harsh, and don't pose pale-skinned people in light clothing against dark backgrounds. Camera sensors can't handle as large a range between lights and darks as the human eye/brain can.


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mwsilver
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Apr 08, 2017 16:24 |  #8

methylman wrote in post #18322666 (external link)
Hi. I'm very new to digital SLR's. I just purchased a used Canon EOS 50D and have a 18/55 f3.5-5.6 [II] EF-S lens attached. I used the green box preset position on the dial for my photos and they all have the same washed-out look. I was expecting much better quality using this preset. See attached photo. Here is the info displayed on my computer for the photo:
ISO 100
18mm
0 ev
f/8
1/160
Please help with any obvious issues that could cause this. Thank you.
thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by methylman in
./showthread.php?p=183​22666&i=i80056748
forum: Canon EOS Digital Cameras

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by methylman in
./showthread.php?p=183​22666&i=i56643350
forum: Canon EOS Digital Cameras

Auto is not the best way to get the most out of this aging but still very fine camera. The images you provided were taken with particularly harsh sunlight as others have suggested. There will be a learning curve to get the best from a 50D. Remember also that many cheap point and shoot cameras will unnaturally over saturate colors so that even a good exposure with the 50D with natural color saturation may still look undersaturated to your eyes.


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sandpiper
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Apr 09, 2017 09:27 |  #9

methylman wrote in post #18322666 (external link)
I used the green box preset position
.......
I was expecting much better quality using this preset.

I think you are possibly expecting too much from full auto (green box) mode, there are very few people on this forum that use it.

Unlike a point and shoot camera, a DSLR really benefits from at least SOME input from the photographer. Green box leaves all control and decisions up to the camera and it is guessing at what you want the shot to look like, if you take more control you can produce shots that look how you want them to. DSLR images also benefit from post processing and the shot you have shown could be improved dramatically with basic PP.

The good news is that your camera doesn't appear to be faulty, it has simply overexposed the image due, I presume, to the camera deciding to boost exposure to capture the shadows behind your subject. It has actually done a fair job of capturing the whole scene, however you probably want the exposure set for the person in the foreground and would be happy for the building detail behind them to be darker. That is a simple case of controlling the exposure yourself, you don't have to set the camera to manual, you can use a semi-auto mode and adjust the exposure compensation to reduce the exposure a little (you may be able to do that in green box too, I never use it so don't know what can and can't be used, it does disable many useful functions however).

You just need to avoid using the camera as a point and shoot, if that is what you want then a DSLR isn't your best option. A DSLR is intended for use with more user control. With a little learning about the basic controls you will be able to get far better results than you would from a point and shoot camera, particularly if you post process the shots as well.

It is best to shoot in raw and edit the results, however if you don't want to take that step yet and stick to jpegs, then you can control the way the camera edits the results by adjusting the contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc., in the picture styles settings. If the previous user was shooting raw then they could have those set up to produce a flat image as they won't affect the image but do affect the jpeg preview which the camera uses to produce the histogram, punching up the contrast etc., would give an inaccurate histogram for the raw data. You could find that part of your issue is simply a poor choice of picture style for that image.

It can seem a little daunting, thinking that you have to learn to make settings and adjustments for yourself, if you have only shot point and shoot cameras before, but it isn't as hard as you might think. Stick around this forum and there are plenty of people willing to help you and answer any questions you may have. Welcome to POTN, and the start of your journey towards better images.




  
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BigAl007
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Apr 09, 2017 10:47 |  #10

I waited until I could look at the images on my reasonably well calibrated monitor, rather than my phone, so that I could have a good look at the images. I had a look at the first image, and as presented the image in PS is showing that it is not clipped in any of the really bright highlight areas, such as the forehead, or the big white sticker. Although there are a couple of odd points that do clip in the sticker, generally it still has plenty of variation as you move the mouse pointer around. So the image as displayed is bright but not over exposed.

Looking at the shop fronts, the paint is old and faded, and is reproduced exactly how I would expect to see it. What you have to remember with a DSLR is that generally they are set up to NOT be over saturated in the way that many P&S cameras are. It may be that the saturation in whichever picture style you are using is lower by default, and/or it has additionally been reduced in the camera settings too. Again generally a DSLR has much more control over in camera image post processing parameters than most P&S cameras. So if you really prefer an over saturated image it is very easy to get that in the future, just up the saturation in the picture styles control.

Something else you need to consider is the setup of your computer monitor for viewing the images. Ideally you will use a hardware calibration device to profile and calibrate the monitor colour, so that the colours you see on screen accurately match across all devices. When it comes to screen calibration you also need to do the brightness, most monitors by default are set WAY too bright. My previous cheap 10+ year old monitor defaulted to a brightness setting of 80, and required to be set to a level of 18 to match a print viewed in approx Sunny 16 levels of illumination (1/500s @ f/8 & ISO 100). My current monitor, which is aimed at the photography market to some extent, a Dell UP2715K, which is a 5K display that reproduces 98% of the AdobeRGB colourspace is a little more controllable, since although again defaulting to 80% brightness, which is a similarly eye burning level to the old one, runs at 46% to match the prints.

The problem is that if you have the monitor set way too bright that will make your image look very overexposed even when it is actually underexposed a little. In this case where the image is quite bright anyway, with potentially lower natural levels of saturation, it ends up looking completely unacceptable. So even if you don't do a proper colour calibration at least go online and search of colour calibration targets. What you need to find is one with a series of step wedges, running from black to white, 0 0 0 to 255 255 255. You need to set the monitor up so that you can distinctly see each of those wedges as a distinct on screen shade using the brightness and contrast controls. If you cannot see each wedge then you are not going to be able to accurately judge your images.

Even once you can see all the steps you might need to fine tune the brightness to match your prints under certain viewing conditions.

Alan


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l7s4
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Apr 13, 2017 12:01 |  #11

Hi...first let me suggest that you download the manual from Canon:
http://gdlp01.c-wss.com …01591/02/eos50d​-h2-en.pdf (external link)

2nd, there is EC..exposure compensation...you can view this on the top panel, bottom left...it's a scale from -2 to +2. You probably, in my experience, use +1/3 to +2/3, depending on your llens. Positive numbers are over exposing.

3rd, every shot has a picture style associated with it. There are settings in each picture style for sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone. This is more important if you are only shooting jpgs as these are easily changed if you shot RAW.

I would also suggest that you use the Av mode, where you select the f-stop and the camera picks the shutter speed. The higher the f-stop, the more depth of field and the slower the shutter speed. You could also use the Tv mode, where you pick the shutter speed and it adjusts the f-stop...good choice for action subjects.

Good luck,

Paul




  
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tongard
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Apr 13, 2017 13:20 |  #12

Nothing to do with using the green box . U need a program like lightroom to do all the adjustments simple


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maverick75
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Apr 13, 2017 14:04 |  #13

You're shooting in crappy light, it's gonna look bad no matter what you do. No amount of editing can save that.


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Apr 16, 2017 13:31 |  #14

Hi - there is probably a setting that has been changed. You could usefully use the menu to reset the camera to default. I suspect the camera is fine but has been set to a neutral picture style, and probably there is also an exposure compensation set (plus exposure in this case)

After that, you may find things are already better.

Ignore comments above about not using the green box auto setting. Green box and jpeg should give pretty good results most of the time. While I always shoot RAW and control most variables myself, my daughter with her Canon DSLR uses green box and jpeg and has had great results in a wide variety of settings from parties to safaris.

If this fixes your problem, great - if not, try taking it to a photographic dealer and just ask for help. I'm sure they would help you. There are other possible problems such as a lens with a sticking diaphragm that doesn't close fully (I had this, on an L lens even!) and so causes overexposure, you won't be able to identify this easily on your own.

Good Luck!


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mwsilver
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Post edited over 2 years ago by mwsilver. (4 edits in all)
     
Apr 16, 2017 16:28 |  #15

puttick wrote in post #18329536 (external link)
Hi - there is probably a setting that has been changed. You could usefully use the menu to reset the camera to default. I suspect the camera is fine but has been set to a neutral picture style, and probably there is also an exposure compensation set (plus exposure in this case)

After that, you may find things are already better.

Ignore comments above about not using the green box auto setting. Green box and jpeg should give pretty good results most of the time. While I always shoot RAW and control most variables myself, my daughter with her Canon DSLR uses green box and jpeg and has had great results in a wide variety of settings from parties to safaris.

If this fixes your problem, great - if not, try taking it to a photographic dealer and just ask for help. I'm sure they would help you. There are other possible problems such as a lens with a sticking diaphragm that doesn't close fully (I had this, on an L lens even!) and so causes overexposure, you won't be able to identify this easily on your own.

Good Luck!

Your suggestion to "Ignore comments above about not using the green box auto setting. Green box and jpeg should give pretty good results most of the time.", is not generally good advice. While I'm glad your daughter gets results she's happy with that way, full auto gives the photographer very little control over camera settings and the resulting output, and is especially problematic in difficult lighting situations like those the OP faced. Additionally, full auto gives the photographer little control over depth of field or even which subject the camera focuses on.


Mark
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Washed out photos with EOS 50d
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